Child's play for Townsend

Helmer on next pic for Overture

Robert Townsend is in final negotiations to direct the family adventure film "Lil Homiez," written by Dallas Jackson and Townsend.

Overture Films has acquired the rights to the film, which is based on a short film by Jackson.

Described as a hip-hop version of "the Little Rascals meets the Rugrats," "Homiez" recounts the adventures of five multiethnic kids as they try to save their neighborhood from being taken over by an evil land developer.

John Davis will produce with Jackson through Davis' urban family film banner DJ Classicz. Lloyd Humphrey and Marie Bell are exec producing.

Actor-writer-direcor Townsend, who will appear next in "Of Boys and Men," will soon finish directing "Phantom Punch," starring Ving Rhames. He is repped by Rigberg Entertainment Group, APA and attorney Nina Shaw.